Florida Punches Ticket to Sweet 16 with Sweep of FGCU

  0 volleymob | December 01st, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News, SEC

Florida def. FGCU 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-17)

  • Florida moves to 26-6; FGCU ends the season at 27-7
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Box Score 

Courtesy: Florida Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 16 Florida Gators swept the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Friday night in The Venue during the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Florida (27-6) moves to 25-5 in second round matches and 14-14 in neutral site matches.

The Gators are moving on to the Regional Semifinal round for the 24th time in 29 trips to the tournament – all 24 coming under Mary Wise.

UF took the first set, 25-17, then followed with a 25-13 win in the second frame. The Gators were then able to close out the match with a 25-17 win in the final set.

Florida hit .356 as a squad, the sixth-best percentage this season. Paige Hammons led the offense on Friday night, posting 14 kills on the night. Holly Carlton followed with nine of her own and Rachael Kramer pitched in seven.

Allie Monserez dished a team-leading 20 assists – her 30th time leading the Gators in that category this season. Marlie Monserez also added 16 assists on the evening.

Allie Gregory led the backcourt defense for Florida, posting 16 digs on the evening. That was her 29th time leading the Gators in digs this season. Paige Hammons followed with eight of her own and Paula Cerame added seven.

As a squad, the Gators notched 7.0 blocks, led by a team-best five by both Holly Carlton and Taelor Kellum.

The Gators now await to see how the bracket plays out in the remainder of the first and second round matches to see where they travel for the Regional Semifinal.

How it Happened

  • The Gators quickly got down 7-4 in the first set, but battled their way out of the deficit, tying the frame at 7-7. The teams continued to trade points throughout the middle of the set, but Florida pulled ahead 22-14 behind the serves of Paula Cerame. UF held on the remainder of the set to go up 1-0.
    • Florida hit .455 in the first frame and held the Eagles to a .067 hit clip. Rachael Kramer and Paige Hammons both pitched in four kills, while Thayer Hall added three.
  • UF was in control of set 2 from the start, jumping out to a 16-7 lead. The lead continued to grow for the Gators, who took advantage of 12 FGCU errors in the frame. Florida closed out the set on a 9-6 run, winning 25-13 to go up 2-0 in the match.
    • The Gators hit .500 in the match and once again held FGCU to under a .100 hit clip (.074). Paige Hammons recorded four kills in the frame, while Holly Carlton added three.
  • The Gators took control in the early going of the set, taking a 10-6 lead. Florida continued to hold onto at least a three-point lead the rest of the way and went up big on a 6-0 run behind the serves of Allie Monserez to secure the match.
    • Florida hit .239 in the final set, racking up 16 kills along the way. Paige Hammons posted six kills in the frame, followed by five from Holly Carlton.


  • Paige Hammons recorded 14 kills in the match – this is the ninth time she has led the team in kills this season
  • Allie Monserez led the team in assists for the 30th match this season
  • Allie Gregory led the team in digs for the 29th time this season
  • The Gators improve to 2-0 against FGCU
  • Florida improves to 2-0 against FGCU in three-set matches
  • Florida is now 74-28 in the NCAA Tournament in program history
  • UF also holds a 73-27 record in the Tournament under Mary Wise
  • The Gators are moving on to the Regional Semifinal round for the 24th time in the 29 seasons in the NCAA Tournament
  • Florida moves to 25-5 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
  • UF improves to 14-14 in neutral site matches
  • The Gators are now 13-2 in three-set matches this season

Thoughts from Coach Wise
On if she was surprised on Gator Nation traveling so well

“After Friday and Sunday matches, when we’re on the floor doing autographs, we are meeting people from all over the state. Maybe there were many Gators fans that did not have to travel that far. This is a great venue for volleyball – the size of it. Credit Gator Nation for the atmosphere this evening.”

Players’ Corner
Middle Blocker Rachael Krame

“This crowd was great – it honestly felt like a home match. You look around and just see Orange & Blue throughout the entire stadium. I cannot thank Gator Nation enough for them to come down all the way to Orlando. That is what pushed us over the edge this weekend – their support was incredible.”

Setter Allie Monserez

“Having our band here was great. We get to hear all of the chants going, it brings a familiar feeling. It was really awesome.”

Up Next

  • The Gators now await for the remainder of the first and second round matches to complete to see where they will travel for the Regional Semifinal
  • If all seeds hold, the Gators will head to Provo, Utah to compete at BYU

Courtesy: FGCU Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 16 Florida women’s volleyball team (26-6) used its size and experience to produce a 25-17, 25-13, 25-17 win over FGCU (27-7) in a second round NCAA tournament match on Friday at The Venue on the campus of UCF.

The defending national runner-up Gators produced a starting lineup that included five players at 6-1 or above, including 6-8 Rachael Kramer and 6-7 Holly Carlton. They will advance to next weekend’s regional tournament, while the Green and Blue conclude the best season in program history.

“I thought Florida played tremendously well,” FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. “They served the ball great. That was really the story of the match and put us in some pretty big holes pretty early in each of those sets. I was really impressed with that. I don’t think we were as prepared for that facet of their game, and they did it extremely well. We knew they were going to be big and physical at the net, but I thought the way they managed from the service line and their first contact had us on our heels from the beginning.”

Sophomore Cortney VanLiew had a team-high 12 kills along with four digs and one block assist. Maggie Rick and Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) had 12 assists apiece, while Dana Axner had 17 digs and the team’s lone ace. Kaitlan Krivdo (Hope Mills, N.C./Gray’s Creek HS) contributed a team-high two blocks (one solo) in her collegiate finale.

“Our players would have liked to have performed at a higher level in an environment like this, but I know they gave everything they had,” Botsford said. “We just didn’t execute. I’m certainly proud of the effort and trying to take a step back and reflect on the job they’ve done all season and really celebrate that.”

Early on, FGCU handled any nerves they had pretty well by jumping out to a 7-3 lead. Florida responded with five straight to force a timeout before the teams went back-and-forth with the Gators holding a 15-14 lead midway through the set. At that point, however, four straight kills spurred a 9-1 run for Florida that allowed them to eventually claim the opening set.

The teams exchanged the first four points of the next set, but Florida scored four straight and 14 of the next 19 to seize a 16-7 lead. Following that, they closed the set on a 6-2 run to take a 2-0 lead.

The final set featured a 7-0 run from the Gators late in the set after FGCU pulled within 17-15 on a kill from Snowy Burnam (Palm City, Fla./Jensen Beach HS). Paige Hammons, who had a match-high 14 kills over 32 attempts, sent Florida to the round of 16 with the match-winning attack.

FGCU concluded its season by tying the 2016 team’s Division-I era single-season wins record. It was the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, and they earned the conference’s first tournament win since 2003. Additionally, the team’s 16-match winning streak was snapped, but not before tying the Division-I era record – joining the 2012 and 2016 teams.

With her offensive output, VanLiew (Seymour, Ind./Columbus East HS) finished the season with 482 kills – just three shy of matching Amanda Carroll‘s (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia HS) single season record set in 2016. She did shatter Carroll’s (1,193, 2015) single-season record for attack attempts with 1,341, though.

Rick (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity Catholic HS) finished her career as the program’s all-time leader in assists (4,540) and matches played (131). She tallied double-digits in all every career match.

Sharonda Pickering (Sea Cow’s Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands/Elmore Stoutt HS) finished with a .419 hitting percentage, which breaks the program’s single-season record previously held by Cara Ziegler (.416, 2007). She fell just shy of Ziegler’s (.403, 2006-07) career record, though, and finished her career at .399.

Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) concluded her freshman campaign with a single-season record 624 digs, surpassing Whitney Hendry’s 606 from 2005.

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